To prepare future-ready students, schools must authentically assess student progress using multiple and varied methods that inform educators and parents of the extent to which learning is occurring and that serve as a positive motivator for student success.
Writing samples, project-based learning demonstrations, teacher-developed tests, lab journals, science projects, essays, reading response logs, research papers, rubric assessments, and other student work provide better evidence on a wider range of student knowledge, skills, and progress than do standardized tests.
However, the current accountability system for Texas public schools is over-reliant on high-stakes standardized testing, a pressure-inducing situation that lends itself to “teaching to the test” rather than fostering the skills students need to be future-ready.
For assessment to be of value, it must move to a model that resembles a “daily check up,” continuously identifying student strengths, interests, motivations, accomplishments, and other information educators need to design learning experiences that best meet each student’s needs.
In 2012, to build support for the transformation of Texas public schools, the Texas Association of School Administrators prepared sample school board, chamber of commerce, and PTA resolutions that noted the over-reliance on standardized, high-stakes testing and called on the Texas Legislature to reexamine the public school accountability system to develop a system that relies on multiple assessments and more accurately reflects what students know, appreciate, and can do.